I have a newly-installed, 20A/120V receptacle that is wired using 12/2 copper on a single home run back to my main electrical panel. This was to support an air conditioning unit in a section of new construction on an existing house. Unfortunately the air conditioner actually needs a 20A/240V receptacle.

My question is, can I simply replace the single-pole breaker with a 2-pole breaker, and the receptacle with the correct style (NEMA 6-20R)?

(Clarification: there is a separate 15A branch circuit to satisfy all code requirements for normal receptacles and one of those is on this wall, therefore changing this would not leave me without the required amount of normal receptacles)

  • 1
    Yup, sounds like you've thought through all the angles and you've got it. Jun 12, 2020 at 23:15

1 Answer 1


Yes, this will work. In the panel you'll need to remove the white wire from the neutral bar, mark it with black tape to show it will be always hot and hook it to the two pole breaker along with the black wire. You'll also need to mark the white wire at the outlet box with some black tape.

  • ah i forgot about labeling with tape, thanks for the reminder!
    – Andy Jobe
    Jun 15, 2020 at 15:24

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